If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business or raising money for a cause, you’re not alone. Many people relish the idea of turning their hobby or ideas into reality. Unfortunately, most people lack the funds necessary to get their projects off the ground. Sure, you could save up for years, take out a loan or beg friends and family to invest in your idea, but there’s a simpler way to turn those dreams into a reality—crowdfunding! Crowdfunding, a way of raising money from large groups of people, is a great option for those looking to start a business, as well as people looking to raise money for a cause, charity, political campaign and much more! If you’ve been thinking about ways to raise some cash, check out these top crowdfunding sources.


One of the first and largest crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter is specifically for those looking to finance creative projects. Kickstarter doesn’t allow charity or "fund-my-lifestyle" projects, so if you were thinking about raising money for a new wardrobe you’ll have to look elsewhere! However, if you’re looking to raise money for a clothing line, book, food business or any other creative project, Kickstarter may be the crowdfunding source for you. Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding design, meaning that if you reach your goal, you get the cash. However, if your campaign is unsuccessful, you can always relaunch with a new goal. If you’re wondering why people donate—in addition to simply seeing a product that interests them come to life—most campaigns on Kickstarter, as well as other crowdfunding sites, offer rewards at different pledge levels. For example, if you’re writing a book, you may offer your backers a copy of the book, a thank-you mention in the introduction, or an autographed copy of the book. If you’re wondering about fees, Kickstarter charges 5% of the money raised plus 3%-5% in payment fees, but they don’t charge you anything if your campaign is unsuccessful.


Although Indiegogo originally started as a source for filmmakers to find backers, the site has expanded to become one of the top crowdsourcing sites for personal causes. In fact, Indiegogo boasts that anyone with a bank account can start a campaign to raise money for anything. The site has housed famous campaigns such as those to start a Tesla Museum, to raise money for the bullied bus monitor and even to help fund George Takei’s musical. Indiegogo also allows you to keep all the funds that you raise even if you don’t hit your goal. However, their fee of 4% (plus 3% in PayPal fees) jumps to 9% if you don’t meet your goal.


If your idea is science-based, Rockethub may be the crowdfunding source for you. This site, which also accepts campaigns for anything related to art, business and social good deeds, has become the top site for science and technology projects. In fact, A&E recently joined forces with Rockethub, becoming the first TV network to back a crowdfunding site. A&E not only provides support to projects that they like, but they also feature them on their network and in their magazine. If you’ve got a great science or technology idea, consider using Rockethub, and your project may just end up on TV! Rockethub, which charges a 4% commission fee and 4% credit card fee, allows you to keep all of the funds raised whether or not you meet your goal. However, if you don’t make your target, the fee jumps to 8% in addition to the credit card fee.


Like Indiegogo, FundRazr boasts that anyone, anywhere can use FundRazr for absolutely anything. Campaigns on FundRazr include everything from personal causes, political campaigns, charities, entrepreneurial ideas and much more. Some of the fun campaigns that have been spotted on FundRazr included roller derbies, bamboo sunglasses, comic books and even projects to help fund local community centers. FundRazr allows you to keep all of the money that you raise without the requirement of meeting a goal and charges 5% plus 2.9% in payment fees. All that’s required to get started on FundRazr is a Facebook or Google+ page and a PayPal or WePay account!


GoGetFunding is another site that welcomes all types of campaigns—not just those in the creative or entrepreneurial fields—so you can raise money for anything! It has become a top site for personal campaigns such as medical bills, funerals and even honeymoons. One of the nice features to this site is the fact that they have fundraising coaches on hand to offer tips and support to help you create a successful campaign. The coaches will offer assistance in every aspect from setting up your campaign to promoting it and more. GoGetFunding, which allows users to keep all of the funding that they raise, offers another perk—low fees. Their flat fee of just 4% is one of the lowest in the crowdfunding arena, allowing you to keep more money for your cause.

Raise Money Online with These Top 5 Crowdfunding Sites